From USISL site:
RALEIGH, N.C. (Friday, August 11, 2000) – Magda Tomecka took a chance and Staci Wilson made her pay.
The Raleigh Wings defender struck a brilliant free kick from 22 yards with the outside of her foot into the top right corner of the goal in the 57th minute to open the scoring for the Wings on their way to a 3-0 victory over the Boston Renegades in Friday’s W-1 National Championship semi-final match in front of 1,360 fans at Championship Field at WRAL Soccer Park.
Wendy Gebauer and Lisa Boggs also scored for the defending champions, who set up a Sunday afternoon rematch of the 1999 championship match against the Chicago Cobras. The regular season champion Cobras defeated the Toronto Inferno, 3-1, in Friday’s first semi-final match.
Wilson’s free kick was set up when Tomecka pulled down Nicole Roberts from behind after the Raleigh forward had broken free just outside of the Boston penalty box. The foul resulted in a yellow card for Tomecka, but a yellow card many coaches would forgive.
But, the veteran defender made her regret it when she calmly stroked the ball past Renegades goalkeeper Allison Snooks to break open the scoreless battle.
"It felt good coming off my foot," Wilson said. "They’re harder in practice than they are in the game, so I didn’t really feel any pressure."
The goal seemed to energize the Wings, who nearly scored just five minutes into the game when Megan Jeidy redirected a header past Snooks, but was ruled offside.
Wendy Gebauer scored from the penalty spot seven minutes later after Boston defender Ronnie Fair was whistled for a hand ball inside the penalty box. With just three minutes to play, Lisa Boggs took advantage of a defensive miscue and raced by a charging Snooks, and easily finished into the vacated net.
"We were a little frustrated because we couldn’t finish a couple of chances we had," said Raleigh Coach Bill Paladino. "I think the first goal was critical, it opened the game up a bit and put some pressure on Boston."
The victory is the sixth straight for Raleigh in the postseason and creates a rematch of the ’99 final, which they won, 3-2, in a shootout after trailing in the first half, 2-0. Like last season, the Cobras enter the match as the regular season champion, having gone 14-0 and running their regular season unbeaten streak to 32 games.
COBRAS CRUISE INTO THIRD FINAL – Marci Miller and Staci Burt scored first-half goals and goalkeeper Danielle Dion saved three of four Toronto shots as the Chicago Cobras advanced to their third W-League final in their five-year history with a 3-1 victory over the Inferno in Friday’s first semi-final.
"From the beginning of the game, we were able to pressure them," said Chicago Coach Mike Nesci. "We expected this to be a hard game and it turned out to be so, but we got through it and we’re in the final. That’s where we’ve wanted to be since day one."
The Cobras first strike came from an Ann Cook free kick on the near sideline that found the head of Marci Miller eight yards from the Toronto goal. Chicago’s third-leading scorer during the regular season easily sent a header past Inferno ‘keeper Sarah Buckland in the 17th minute.
The tournament’s top seed went ahead by a pair when Staci Burt tucked the ball inside the near post after Lindsay Hoelter flicked Lisa Krzykowski’s cross into the goal box.
Six minutes into the second half, Hoelter scored a goal of her own, when she sent a header past Buckland from a Becky Myers.
The Inferno spoiled Dion’s bid for a shutout when Tina Blaskovic sent a header past her inside the far post in the 66th minute.
"I expected them to give us a challenge," Dion said. "The way it was publicized, it seemed like it was going to be a walkover for us, but I don’t think any of us felt that. I definitely felt like we were going to have a tough game against them."
The Inferno entered the match with an 8-5-1 record and a regular season goal-differential of –4, but the 14-0 Cobras were without international star Charmaine Hooper, who led W-1 in scoring with 31 points on 13 goals and five assists.
"Obviously (Hooper) adds a lot of color to the game," Nesci said. "She makes us more dangerous and makes our opponents more aware. We’ll have a fresh Charmaine here on Sunday and she has been very excited about the final four."
Hooper missed Friday’s game due to personal reasons, but is expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday.© U.S.I.S.L., Inc., USL and USL team identifications used on or in connection with this site are trademarks, copyrighted designs and other forms of intellectual property of U.S.I.S.L., Inc. and may not be used, in whole or part, without the prior written consent of U.S.I.S.L., Inc. All rights reserved.
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